Some days, I think ahead to what we should have for dinner. Sometimes I make a list and go shopping, or ask Christine to pick something up on her way to or from something. Sometimes we actually have food on hand that demands to be made into delicious dinners, and no thought is required.
Some days none of the above is true.
On just such a day, I came in from the studio, grouchy because I did not want to stop working, and realized that I had nothing in mind, and not so much on hand. This did not help my mood much, but after some rummaging, a bag of onions and a stick of butter gave me the basis for what turned out to be a pretty great spring meal.
I Frenched four onions and tossed them in the iron pan to caramelize while I made the crust and put it in the fridge to rest. Time was a little short, so they did not quite get to the deep, dark, slithering sweet stage, but I threw in some chopped ramp and a little garlic as well to add some extra seasonal allium depth. As meager as it is right now, it’s still nice to go outside and pick things to eat. Once the onions were ready, I grated some cheddar on the crust, added the onion mixture, and sprinkled pine nuts and wild garlic chives over the top.
With a mesclun salad- not yet our own, but soon- and some leftover pinto beans from the other night dressed up with minced onion, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice into a salad of sorts, this ended up being just what we needed to welcome the sun back after the storm.
The beans were left froma super-clean dinner we had a couple of nights ago: local organic pintos (as good as RG, but from NY) pressure-cooked and prettied up with spices, tomato paste, and vinegar, plus shredded steamed kale in tahini-miso sauce, cucumber salad, and brown rice. For a first course, I roasted a kabocha and then puréed it with some chicken broth we had in the fridge from the last carcass. Silky, smooth, sweet, and simple. There’s a little left, so I’ll use it to thicken a curry or sauce in the coming days.